Great mail day! Got my @planet_bike Super Commuter swag! A frame pump and a Super Fred Brass Bell for the Disc Trucker, a Lunch Box stem/frame bag, 2 pairs of socks, some grippy bar tape and Jereme at Planet Bike threw in one of their brand new Rojo 100 blinky lights too as a bonus! Thanks again to @ge_willi for the nod and to Jereme and the Planet Bike crew!
Psyched to say that thanks to a nod from my solid homie, @ge_willi I’ve been named the Planet Bike Fall 2019 Super Commuter! Very cool to be acknowledged as I’m a big fan of both Planet Bike’s products and their overall positive bike mojo ethos. I look forward to repping the Super Commuter title with pride! Point your electronic smart devices to the Planet Bike website to read about just how much of a nut I am when it comes to getting to work by bike. And while you’re there, pick up something for your commute from the shop. Thanks again to GeWilli and Planet Bike!
My buddy and fellow cyclist Geoff Williams (gewilli to his peeps) has a side gig going on posting artwork from Electron Microscopes. Fascinating stuff. He recently had a print exhibition at the Chazan Gallery in Rhode Island. Check him out on instagram and twitter. I hear he plays a mean fiddle as well.
From the Gallery Exhibition Website:
For over 20 years Geoff Williams has been honing his craft as an electron microscopist. Each image that he collects is an expression of his sensibilities. The dynamic interplay of shape and grayscale values speaks to him. From that first image Williams collected on a scanning electron microscope (SEM) until now, he has been consistently striving to master a technique that engages this scientific tool towards a goal of sharing this world through his personal lense.
Williams’ images provide a tactile and striking view of samples we may or may not encounter in our day-to-day lives. These samples can come from very diverse sources, from food to tiny fragments of the custom bicycle making process, to broken or discarded bits. Williams strives to present them as inspiring visuals, hoping to draw in and engage the audience in a way that is not possible in any other expressive form. The unique three dimensionality of these SEM works has the potential to decouple any a priori connection a viewer might have, while at the same time fostering a powerful de novo relationship to the subjects.
Most folks get right frustrated with dead spots in their lawn. I, on the other hand, have really been working at one, nurturing it. I’ve been pouring fitness into it. In the past 33 days I’ve fed it:
- 355 Arm Curls @ 20lbs
- 460 Arm Scissors
- 200 Back Extensions
- 150 Back Stretches
- 440 Basic Burpees
- 870 Butt Kicks
- 130 Climbers
- 50 Close Grip Push Ups
- 1095 Crunches
- 100 Dead Bugs
- 260 Elbow Plank
- 200 Flutter Kicks
- 1680 Half Jacks
- 50 Half Wipers
- 5920 High Knees
- 210 Hops on the Spot
- 36 Jump Knee Tucks
- 2550 Jumping Jacks
- 320 Knee to Elbows
- 50 Leg Raise Hold
- 100 Leg Raises
- 2620 March Steps
- 100 Modified Leg Scissors
- 200 Overhead Punches
- 80 Plank Jacks
- 2660 Punches
- 160 Push Up to Back Extension
- 340 Pushup Planks
- 565 Pushups
- 820 Raised Arm Circles
- 260 Raised Leg Planks
- 200 Reverse Crunches
- 240 Scissor Chops
- 100 Side Leg Raises
- 260 Side Planks
- 1680 Side to Side Hops
- 210 Side to Side Steps
- 300 Sit Up Punches
- 300 Sitting Punches
- 210 Step Jacks
- 140 Tendon Leg Holds
- 140 Tendon Leg Raises
- 140 Tendon Raised Leg Swings
- 140 Tendon Side Leg Holds
- 140 Tendon Side Leg Raises
- 140 Tendon Side to Side Legs
- 55 Wide Grip Push Ups
My Fitness Program
I’ve been working for quite some time on losing weight with my target being getting to 200lbs. I lost almost 20 lbs during a stint last year but for quite some time now, I’d plateaued and even with an increase in exercise, I wasn’t losing, I was just maintaining. In addition to wanting to lose weight, I wanted to feel better and be stronger. I was also having some stomach issues and wanted to address that. After talking to my doc and doing some research I decided to change two things. One, I wanted to introduce more strength/conditioning elements to my lifestyle and two, I would finally have to get serious and honest about my diet and what I was and wasn’t eating something I’ve danced around for years.
33 days ago I kicked in the strength element. I started the DareBee 30 Day CardioTrim program. I dig the DareBee ideal and ethos. I don’t have the time or money to join a gym or do Crossfit, as much as I’d like to. DareBee is the poor man’s Crossfit. Literally hundreds of weight/equipment-free exercises and demos, plans, nutrition advice, a support community. Fun stuff. It’s great – check it out if you’re looking for that kind of thing. I can’t recommend it enough. I know what you’re saying. 30 day program, started 33 days ago? Um, that math doesn’t add up. You’d be right. I took a day off here and there when I felt my body was saying to. I was tired. Listen to your body.
At the same time I started using My Fitness Pal to track everything I was eating. Actually I’d been using it a month before as well. This has given me great data on what fuel (or lack thereof) I’m putting into the tank as well as allow me to correlate that to how I’m feeling and how workouts are going. As a bonus it syncs with my Garmin Vivoactive activity tracker and keeps track of calories burned etc. There’s a great iPhone app (and prolly Android as well) that makes it easy to enter food or even scan barcodes anywhere, anytime. I’ve found that having a data stack to refer to both motivates and excites the geek in me to stick with the program and also keep me honest.
I’ve changed up my diet pretty radically. For the past month and a half or so, I’ve been on a – don’t laugh – shake program, and finding it works pretty well for me. One of the huge hurdles initially for me was trying to teach myself how to eat properly after literally decades of not doing so. After reading and some advice from a buddy, I’ve been using GNC Lean Protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and then eating sensible, whole food dinners. Dinners had always been pretty good at our house, Lyn is a great cook and I’ve become more involved and so have the kids. We’ve always pretty much made everything from scratch trying to use the least amount of processed crap as we can. In addition, we’re using more white meat instead of red, more fresh veggies and even trying out a vegetarian recipe here and there.
Workdays have always been the hardest for me as the temptation to get crap for lunch and/or snack on junk food all day while hammering on a computer was pretty much the norm. Having the shake routine set – in combination with smart, healthy snacks has taken the heavy lifting out of trying to figure out what to eat, was well as eliminated the temptation to fall off the deep end into the deep fat fryer. It’s not my intention to use these shakes forever, but for me they’ve been a great tool for re-learning how to eat as well as managing diet. Overall the shakes in combination with the change in diet have alleviated some persistent stomach issues I’ve been having as well.
Other small things I’ve done that everyone always talks about but do make a huge difference are drinking lots of water (I usually get about 3L a day) and not eating after 7ish at night.
Finally, I’ve continued to strive for something I set out over a year ago and that is to run or ride the bike every day. Doesn’t have to be a monster workout – sometimes it’s just a half-hour cruise, but do something. Every. Day. I’ve missed days for sure, but only 2 in a row at most.
The Progress – Has It All Been Working?
In the first week or so I lost 4lbs. That’s a lot, and I think mostly due to water weight. It was encouraging, but I realize unrealistic to think that trend would continue. Over the remainder of the month, I didn’t lose or gain, just maintained. I think this is pretty much due to diet and touch on that later. I did read an interesting article on why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight that I found very informative. Thanks to Gewilli for the link.
My fitness is improving radically. Everyone has their own definition of what fitness is. I feel better physically and mentally. I have more energy. I feel stronger. I have less fatigue. The Mojo Tank is full.
I gots all kinds-o-progress, yo.
Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail
What’s important is that you keep driving.
Repeatedly I have to remind myself:
- Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. It took 30 years to put the weight on, it’s not going to come off in a week.
- Fitness and strength is as important as the weight loss. What you’re doing will not always have immediately tangible benefits.
- See #1.
- See #1. Again.
In this world of instant downloads, one day shipping and live streaming, I too have become impatient. Expecting to see significant weight loss returns in a matter of days is unrealistic. Keep focused. Keep with the program. Keep going. It will come.
There have been days when the last thing I wanted to do was the workout. Sometimes I would forget until almost bedtime. It would be dark. Cold. Raining. Sometimes I was able to do Level III reps and all the extra credit. Sometimes I could barely manage Level I and be whimpering. What matters is that I did it. And I also proved to myself that I could both handle it physically AND establish it/fit it into the daily routine/schedule, the latter being something I always was skeptical about or used as an excuse.
Remember. The Spot isn’t going anywhere. The Spot is hungry. The Spot wants sweat and reps.
The Takeaways So Far: What I’ve Learned
- Be patient. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. Nothing does.
- I’m still eating too many calories. Though I’ve definitely changed what I’m eating for the better, my snacks and meals are still too calorie-heavy. I need more green veggies and protein and less calorie/carb/fat heavy snacks. Working on it.
- I’ve cheated on food for sure over the past month. But I’ve learned to be more conscious of what I’m eating and why. Do you really need something to eat? Or are you just bored, distracted or stressed and circling the kitchen, one of my major traps. Stay busy, stay focused on the goal. When I have urges or cravings I’m learning to stop and take a second and ask if I really need anything, and if I do, to make a smarter choice vs. acting impulsively. I’ve learned to enjoy ‘treats’ more – like a Blizzard with the Fam at DQ, but I can be ok with the mini-I don’t need the medium with extra stuff. When people want to go to Wendy’s, they have salads there too (who knew?) not just Baconator combos. An online buddy of mine, Paul told me once: “One salad doesn’t make you skinny just like one piece of pie doesn’t make you fat.” You’re trying to change habit and routine, and if you fall (or intentionally get off) the horse, don’t beat yourself up, just get back on.
- Just because you rode 100km, doesn’t mean you should eat that many calories worth of crap.
- Keep a journal. Don’t feel like you have to write everything in it or everyday, but have one. Maybe not for everyone, but working for me.
One Day at a Time
It really is just that ridiculously simple. I’ve realized there is no ‘end’. There is no ‘fail’. What I’m trying to do is perpetual. Organic and ever-growing. It’s now a process that will end, really, only when I finally check out. So time to keep doing it. Today.
Gotta go pick out the next DareBee 30 day program. #feedthespot